How To Strengthen Relationship With Loved Ones: Relationships with other people affect the quality of our life, therefore, in the coming year, we wish you to strengthen ties with friends, relatives and acquaintances. Psychotherapist Esther Perel and neuroscientist Amy Banks know how to do this.
Exercises from Amy Banks ‘ book “On the Same Wavelength” will help train the neural pathways necessary for social contacts, become more capable of empathy and communication.
Calmness is the cornerstone of a relationship. You can count on working on your neural pathway of calmness to have a positive effect on your connections, as well as on other neural pathways that are responsible for interacting with others.
Deal with anxiety
Below are nine soothing recommendations for managing your overactive sympathetic nervous system.
1. Spend more time with people you feel safe with.
2. Exercise. Moderate to high-level cardiovascular exercise will be most beneficial.
3. Use a CD for relaxation. In particular, you can choose the following discs: Dr. Alice Domar “Overcoming stress by breathing” (Dr. Alice D. Domar. Breathe: ManagingStress); Rod Stryker. Relax into Greatness.
4. Use the technique of emotional freedom. She has the magical ability to reduce the intensity of a difficult emotional state. The method is based on stimulating the end points of the meridians (in Eastern medicine, meridians are the energy paths passing through the body) at the moment when you focus on the emotion that bothers you. For more information on this technique, visit www.emofree.com .
5. Practice meditation.
6. Play with your pet.
7. Take a hot bath.
8. Get a massage.
9. Ask someone you feel safe with to hug or hug you.
Smile to each other
The sense of calmness is regulated in part by a neural pathway in the autonomic nervous system called the intelligent vagus nerve. If you don’t exercise your sentient vagus nerve by exchanging caring expressions with people, it weakens.
To help him gain strength, exchange short smiles with those you have a liking for. This is not a big fake smile, but a simple smile as a sign of a friendly greeting. Look the other person in the eye and see what facial expressions follow.
In one experiment, a group of teenagers was asked to look at photographs of smiling friends. Without exception, everyone said they felt calmer, happier and more confident. The amazing thing is that such rapid intervention in healthy relationships is immediately beneficial.
So set up a photo gallery on your desk or on your phone with photos of people looking happy or smiling. And make it a rule to review these pictures several times a day in order to activate your intelligent vagus nerve and improve your well-being.
This is one of those exercises that can seem terribly stupid if you have been taught all your life that people tend to make value judgments, intimidate you, and compete with you. Try it anyway. This is neuroscience: our brains are programmed to work better when our faces grab attention and make contact with other people’s faces.
Feel Safe Through Active Listening
When a soothing sound wave enters your inner ear, it vibrates the auditory bones and muscles, which triggers the intelligent vagus nerve and relieves tension. Hear the voice of your loved one and the music that reminds you of them. (Music associated with a breakup with a loved one is unacceptable!)
Another way to stimulate the intelligent vagus nerve is to actively listen to the other person. The next time you feel anxious during social interaction, use this technique. First of all, listen carefully to your body and determine your stress level. If you rate it as elevated, remind yourself not to rashly talk, pass out mentally, or walk away. These are all reactions to stress. Instead, try to actively listen to the specific conversation.
In a dominance-submissive culture, speaking your own point of view during a dialogue is considered more valuable than listening to the other’s point of view, so it is not surprising that you feel the urge to speak out. However, true dialogue involves both speaking and listening. It is very important to master both skills equally. Resist the pressure that forces you to speak and start the conversation with your listening focus.
The sense of belonging to a social group arises as a result of the correct functioning of the dorsal zone of the anterior cingulate cortex. Unfortunately, a person who often experiences a sense of social isolation may develop a dorsal area of the anterior cingulate cortex that actively responds to social pain, which makes him feel rejected even when people are friendly to him. These exercises can help fight pain and loneliness.
Think of a time when you were kicked out of a group or not invited to a social event.
– What were your thoughts and feelings about this?
– What was your response?
– What sensations do you experience in your body when you remember this incident?
– How did you explain to yourself the fact that you were ignored?
– How did this event affect your relationships with people who are not related to your exclusion from the social circle?
Then look at the situation from the other side. Consider a time when you or the group you were part of deliberately excluded someone from your circle. Ask yourself the same questions. The purpose of these two steps is to raise your awareness of the impact of social isolation on your body and relationships.
By excluding others from society or by condemning yourself, you consolidate the system of social inclusion and exclusion – the one that poses a threat to your brain. This game of “friends” and “foes” harms everyone who plays it.
By repeating the above two steps for different inclusion and exclusion cases, you can better understand the revolving door nature of this aspect of social life. Came in, went out. Came in, went out. Clap-clap, clap-clap. Do you understand what this is about?
Try to relive the situation when you were excluded from the social circle, or think about the temporary relief that you experienced when you were included in the group, and someone else was left on the sidelines. As you do this, focus on the feelings that arise. Their range may surprise you.
Then choose a time when you will be in the outside world for at least thirty minutes. Take your notebook or phone with you, and note each time you make judgments about someone or evaluate yourself in comparison with others. After completing this exercise, remember what you were thinking at the time. Do you constantly think that others are better at managing their lives? Or do you consider yourself smarter and better than the rest? Do you pay attention to the weight of others, height and what they are wearing?
The tendency to make such judgments separates you from people. At this moment, you are unable to see what may be in common between you, because you see only your place in the hierarchy. By paying attention to how often you mentally criticize yourself and others, you will be aware that a value judgment program is running in your head by default.
Once again, find thirty minutes during which you will communicate with people in the outside world. Whenever a judgment comes to your mind, mark it and then rename it. Don’t judge yourself for them! Just say, “This is just my mind, inclined to draw conclusions.” And start vigorously pulling your thoughts out of the neural rut and translating them into a new, more positive path. Try to think more generously of the person you censure, even if that person is yourself.
Find a calm and comfortable place to practice compassion meditation. Take a few breaths in and out in a slow, deep rhythm. Say the following phrases:
May safety be with me! May happiness be with me! May health be with me! May peace be with me!
Then wish the same to your friend:
May safety be with him (with her)! May happiness be with him (her)! May health be with him (with her)! May peace be with him (with her)!
Following the same scenario, wish the same neutral person and then the person you dislike. Finally, wish the same to the whole world:
May safety be with us! May happiness be with us! May health be with us! May peace be with us!
Calm posture and deep breathing reduce the level of excitement in the nervous system and become more balanced. By sending compassion to yourself and the whole world, you add responsiveness to a sense of peace. When people regularly practice compassion meditation, they experience dramatic changes.
After a few weeks, this thought begins to compete with the well-worn neural pathways that make you think, “I am not part of something larger.” Another neural pathway (the one that was weak for a very long time) begins to remind you that you are part of this world and that we are all interdependent in it.
Perhaps family relationships are more important than any others. In her book , Captive Reproduction, therapist Esther Perel gives advice to those who dream of a happy marriage. Several of them are in front of you.
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Forget the myth of the two halves
Falling in love, we always feel an extraordinary rise. We are excited, awaiting the call with trepidation, trying to impress. And we never know for sure how it will end. It is this – the uniqueness and independence of another person, the fragility and instability of relationships – that fuels our passion.
But then almost all couples make the same mistake: they get so close that there are no boundaries between them. There is no more the mysterious world of another person, there is no distance that we longed to overcome at first. The bottom line is sad: we get bored, and this can destroy any relationship.
The difficulty lies in the fact that we need to learn to balance: intimacy and trust must be harmoniously combined with the personal freedom and independence of each partner. Try to step out of your shared comfort zone and feel kind of lonely. Develop as independent, full-fledged personalities.
Look at relationships from a different angle
If at the beginning of a relationship we admire our partner and discover something new every day, then after a while we begin to think that we know absolutely everything about him. Of course, this is a huge misconception that we readily accept because we are afraid of change. At the same time, deep down, we continue to wish for unpredictability.
Trying to make the relationship safe and drive a loved one into a given pattern, we ourselves kill the passion that requires mysteries. You can solve this problem in a rather simple way: just look at your union with different eyes. It is just our illusion that relationships are stable and predictable. Feel how fragile they really are.
Step away from reality and try to see a mysterious stranger in your partner. Observe him from the sidelines, as if he were a stranger: how he shines at work, engages in his favorite hobby, communicates with friends. Many argue that it is at such moments that they begin to feel attraction again.
Striving to become one with the other person, we cause another side effect: our partner begins to feel like being trapped in a cage. Many control every step of the spouse, build a fence between the family and the outside world, try to completely protect their relationship from possible shocks.
Oddly enough, this behavior can lead to treason. Your partner is a free person. Once he chose you because he decided so. But as soon as loyalty ceases to be a voluntary model of behavior, a person may have an irresistible desire to break free from the shackles and commit an act of disobedience.
Therefore, you do not need to impose your principles on your partner and call for monogamy, monitor all his movements and ask compromising questions. This will only stir up the desire to make up for the lack of personal space and go in search of forbidden pleasures.
Recognize the shadow of the third
On the periphery of any couple’s relationship, there is a third. It can be a school hobby, a handsome cashier in a store, or a cute school teacher with whom you flirt with when you pick up your son from school. And the stranger who smiled at you in the subway is also the third. Real or not, this third is the materialization of our desire to receive something that lies outside the walls we have built ourselves.
Surprisingly, it is the presence of the third that holds our relationship together. Openly admit that your partner may have fantasies and desires that you are not involved in. When we reaffirm each other’s independence, we are no longer drawn to seek freedom elsewhere. By allowing the third to exist, we recognize that relationships change and develop.
Now the third is not a shadow, but a real character, you can talk about him, joke around, play with it. When we’re not afraid to tell the truth, we don’t need to keep something secret. This can add color to the relationship, because everyone begins to understand that they do not fully own their partner.
We were taught that marriage is loyalty, reliability, comfort, family. Serious business that requires responsibility and reasonable attitude. This is all we need and all that is worth spending time and energy on. The game and aspects inextricably linked with it, such as risk, seduction, pranks, violation of prohibitions, remain outside of respectable family nests.
However, fantasy, playfulness, flirting, variety – all this must be present in a relationship in order for them to be alive and develop. The game helps to go beyond everyday life and keep the senses sharp. So stop considering marriage to be an extremely serious job. Connect your imagination!
Schedule a date with your partner in a motel, flirt with him during a phone call, and take the time to create an erotic space. Remember, love has room for both reliability, stability and loyalty, as well as adventure, romance and experimentation.